It’s tough enough being a college student, but trying to find a balance between homework, working a part-time job, and having time for your spouse is even harder. It feels that the older I get, the more stretched out I feel. I’ve got a finger in everything that’s going on around me, and trying to take care of my obligations at the same time. I am partially writing this post for selfish reasons. I want to write out a personal plan to follow so I can make it through the school year and still be employed and happily married at the end of it. So if you’re in the same boat as me, let’s compare notes and make this busy time in our lives run as smoothly as possible.

My plan for my relationship: My relationship with M, first and foremost, has to be kept Number One. I never want a piece of homework or a call from work to take priority over him. I’m not saying it’s okay to skip studying for a final just to watch a TV show with him, but time with each other is important to me. And I’m not saying I’m going to the extreme of making a literal schedule in which I have to pencil him in. That’s kind of weird, if you ask me. I just want to be sensitive to the amount of time I am spending with my husband. I don’t want to neglect our relationship. Sure, there are times when things really need to get done, possibly for a deadline, but it’s healthy to step away for a break now and then. And even then if M would need me for something, I wouldn’t hesitate to help him. And now that M is back in school, I see the importance of making time for your spouse even more so. Although I’ve been pretty understanding so far about him needing to do schoolwork, there are still times that I wish he would just step back for a couple minutes and give me some attention. And he has been really good about that too. So no matter what school may bring, I’m not going to forget that I have a spouse that needs my attention as well.

My plan for work: It seems like I’ve got about four different jobs I’m balancing at once. I will be starting part-time as a children’s minister at the church soon, which will require much dedicated time. On top of that, I have a job at an assisted living home and a few hours at another senior housing facility. And in March of this year I started selling jewelry at in-home parties, which business has quadrupled since I started. It’s great to be making money and contributing to paying our expenses. However, being a part of the children’s ministry is going to have to be my priority. I’m going to have to cut way back on the hours I take at the assisted-living facility, and maybe even stop doing jewelry parties, although they pay very well. If I don’t make priorities as to what job is more important, I’m going to run myself in the ground with work. Although there might not be as much income coming in, I have to make time for school as well.

My plan for school: I’m just starting my last year as a Biomedical Science major, and I am already overwhelmed. I’ve got a presentation on Diabetes that is to last two class periods due in two weeks. Biochemistry makes me feel like I can’t breathe. My Immunology teacher has never taught a class before and doesn’t have a clue. And I can’t find the book for my Medical Terminology class! I have a lot of work to do! In order to make this semester as easy as possible, I’m making a clear plan for myself. First, every assignment and test coming up for each class is going to be written in the same planner so I can keep everything straight. Next, instead of crashing on the couch when I get home from school like I’ve done in the past, I’m going to work on any assignments that are due in the near future. My motivation for working on assignments right away takes me back to my first plan–my plan for my relationship. The sooner and quicker I get my assignments done, the more time I will have to spend with my husband when he gets home from work. Another great time for me to work on homework is when M is busy doing his own homework, or if he is out mowing the lawn or doing something I can’t be involved in. For example, M will be gone all weekend at Promise Keepers. I decided before he even left that this will be a study weekend. As of now, I’ve already finished a paper that isn’t due until Wednesday, and I’ve started researching for my upcoming presentation. Tomorrow it’s Biochemistry. School should go better if I stick to my plan.

I’m really excited to see how taking the time to write down what I expect of myself is going to affect the way I manage my time. If it works for me, maybe it can work for you too.